Despite dry weather, experts say local wildfire risk is low

Pile Burning in Summit County/ Photo by Adam Bianchi
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Colorado is on the other side of the same high-pressure system that is causing the windy weather in California, but it's much colder here which helps keep our fire risk lower.

Summit County has even gotten snow, which is allowing them to do prescribed burns for the dead trees and branches that act as fuel during the warmer months. 

The National Forest Service said the fact that they can safely do this now means the risk of wildfires is low. 

"It's a good thing," said the Dillon Deputy District Ranger on the White River National Forest, Adam Bianchi. 

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He said it did take the forest service a little longer than usual this season to start burning the fuel piles. They began burning last week. 

"Without some of that snow on the ground we've had to be a little careful, and so we just started burning and we hope to continue," said Bianchi. 

For now, he said there's not much of a risk for wildfires. 

"If I was a resident really concerned right now, there's not much of a need to be," he said. "The risk for fire is always there but this is a good time of year. We're getting some snow, we're getting some precipitation, and feel comfortable about that."

In La Plata County in southwest Colorado, a small wildfire popped up along County Road 117, forcing pre-evacuation notices to people along County Road 116 - but it has since died down as the temperature drops.

While the mountains have seen recent snow the metro area has been drier.

West Metro Fire said the wildfire risk is moderate,  and they too are not concerned right now.